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Schultheis, Silja

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Respekt - Czech Republic | 28/11/2008

Czechs must lay their cards on the table

Prompted by the latest neo-Nazi attacks against Roma, German guest author Silja Schultheis recalls in the Czech weekly Respekt a wave of xenophobic initiatives in the early 1990s in Germany and calls for action: "It seems to me that the time has come in the Czech Republic for its people to nail their colours to the mast as regards what kind of a society they really want: A closed one like the neo-Nazis and intolerants want, or an open, diverse, multicultural society. So far it has been above all the right-wing extremists who have adopted a clear stance, not the general public. But the country's future development depends on its doing so, and not just on political formulas. ... The Roma are an integral part of society, its largest minority. This is a reality we cannot ignore. Our message to the Roma should be: Coexisting with you is not easy, but you are part of our society and together we will seek a way to get along better with each other."

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